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Blame Canada for the number of Limited Releases

April 22nd, 2011

It's a busy week for limited releases with more than a dozen films on this week's list, including a very large Canadian contingent. There are two films opening in limited release in Canada, two Canadian films opening in limited release in the United States, and another where the characters are on a road trip to Canada. One of these films, Incendies, is the best bet for the weekend, while POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is also worth checking out.

The Bang Bang Club - Reviews
A Canadian / South African co-production that looks at the lives of four photojournalists who covered the end of the apartheid in South Africa. Reviews are quite poor as many critics complain the filmmakers romanticized the risks taken by the four men, but failed to either explain why their photos were important or how the events depicted tied into the overall change happening in South Africa at the time. This could really limit the film's box office potential. The Bang Bang Club opens tonight in four theaters, one in New York City, one in Chicago, and two in the Los Angeles area.

Cougar Hunting - Reviews
Tired of striking out with women their own age, three twentysomethings head to Aspen to hunt Cougars, older women who are into younger men. It's a teenage sex comedy with slightly older guys and older women. There's only one review and while it is positive, this suggests a lack of buzz. Cougar Hunting opens tonight in six theaters in the AMC Theatres chain.

Deep Gold 3D - No Reviews
Shortly after setting a free-diving record, Amy Sanchez learns her boyfriend, Tony, has disappeared while flying a plane carrying $1 million in government gold. She's determined to find out if he was a victim of a conspiracy, or one of the conspirators. It's one of the wider release on this week's list, but it has no review on Rotten Tomatoes. Not a good sign. Deep Gold 3D opens tonight in 20 theaters in select cities nationwide.

Dum Maaro Dum - Reviews
The widest limited release of the week with a theater count of just over 100. Normally this is way too many, but it's a Bollywood film and those have a built in niche market. The film looks at several stories centered on the Dabolim Airport in Goa, India, which is a resort province. There's only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, but it is positive and the lack of reviews from mainstream critics is not an issue for these films. On the other hand, predicting how well they will do at the box office is far too difficult a task for me.

Incendies - Reviews
This film should have won the Oscar. It certainly earned better reviews than In A Better World earned. In the film Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin and Maxim Gaudette play twins who learn from their mother's will that the man they thought was their father might not be. He might be alive and living in the Middle East, where their mother was from. Their mother wanted them to travel there and find their lost relatives. Excellent reviews and the Oscar nomination should help the film's chances, but it's chance to expand wide is limited. Incendies opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the other in Los Angeles.

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen - Reviews
The character of Chen Zhen has been played by Bruce Lee and Jet Li, so Donnie Yen has large shoes to fill. He does have quite a following here, but the reviews suggest it won't be a hit in limited release. On the other hand, the visually stunning martial arts movie might have an easier time on the home market. Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen opens tonight in three theaters, one in New York City, one in Los Angeles, and one in Hawaii.

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold - Reviews
The latest documentary from Morgan Spurlock, whose debut film was Super Size Me, which is still one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time. Granted, this movie isn't earning as strong reviews as that film did, but it is a step up from Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? This film deals with the over-commercialization of everything and how brand placement has become so ubiquitous that we no longer even notice. The way he illustrates the process is to have corporations sponsor this movie, and he shows us the process. The movie is about making the movie. It's such a Meta experience. On the other hand, the reviews are a little weaker than I would like for a limited release, while the theater count is a little high. Hopefully that won't be too large of a problem. POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold opens tonight in 18 theaters in cities nationwide.

Repeaters - Reviews
Three friends who are going through drug rehabilitation together become stuck in a time loop the makes them relive the same day over and over again. At first they live out their fantasies free from repercussions, but that freedom soon comes at a price. Strangely, the two reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are negative, but the other reviews I've seen online are mostly positive, although most critics note the movie is hampered by a rather low budget. That said, most agree that it is worth checking out. Repeaters opens tonight in its native Canada in Toronto and Vancouver.

The Scenesters - Reviews
Hipsters plus crime scene cleaners equals Scenesters. A group of friends working as crime scene cleaners decide to go all private investigator and try to catch a serial killer who's targeting hipsters. This neo-Noir film is only earning mixed reviews, it has been sitting on a studio shelf for a couple years, and was pushed back from a February release at the last minute. That's three strikes right there. Maybe it will surprise. The Scenesters opens tonight at the Facets Cinematheque in Chicago, Illinois.

Stake Land - Reviews
In the wake of a vampire epidemic in the United States, a famed vampire hunter helps escort a teenager to Canada and to safety after his family is attacked and killed. It's a bleak post-apocalyptic film, which should appeal to genre fans looking for more than just mindless action. However, while the reviews are very good for the genre, they might not be good enough for limited release. Stake Land opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City, plus there's a free sneak peak at the Silent Movie Theatre / Cinefamily in Los Angeles tonight.

Textuality - No Reviews
A Canadian romantic comedy about two people who meet and fall in love, but before they can be together, they have to end the half-a-dozen or relationships they are currently managing with their Blackberries. The film has quite a few big names, include Carly Pope from Popular, Eric McCormack from Will & Grace, Jason Lewis from Sex and the City, and others. Textuality opens tonight in Vancouver, Toronto & Montreal, while there is a special promotion at the Vancouver showing. Go to the official site for more details.

When Harry Tries to Marry - Reviews
A Bollywood film about Harry, who gave up on true love when his parents got divorced. Since they married for love and that didn't work, he's decides to have an arranged married and asks his uncle to find him a bride from back in India. His uncle succeeds and he is to be wed to Nita; however, Harry thinks he may have fallen in love with Theresa, an American girl he met after he decided to have an arranged marriage. It's a romantic comedy that suffers from a lot of the same flaws as most in its genre, which will really hurt its chances at the box office. Also, it's a niche market film, so that further reduces its overall potential. When Harry Tries to Marry opens tonight in four theaters, all in New York City.

Zokkomon - Reviews
A young boy is abandoned by his uncle, so he goes on a quest to become a super hero and protect the weak. It's a different kind of super hero. It's a different kind of Bollywood movie. The film does have major studio support and the two reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are both positive, but it's still going to have a hard time finding an audience. Zokkomon opens tonight in 25 theaters in select cities nationwide.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Bang Bang Club, Incendies, Haevnen, The Scenesters, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Cougar Hunting, Dum Maaro Dum, Deep Gold 3D, Stake Land, Jing mo fung wan: Chen Zhen, When Harry Tries to Marry, Zokkomon